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In Every Moment We Are Still Alive

Tom Malmquist

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Prizewinning, bestselling Swedish debut by acclaimed poet Tom Malmquist, this is a raw and beautiful novel about a year that changed everything - a tale of love, loss, parenting and the lives we live, moment by moment.

Chosen by the New York Times as one of the "Notable Books of 2018"

Chosen by El Pais as one of this past decade's nine best novels about life and death

The prize-winning, bestselling tale of love, loss, family and the lives we live moment by moment, from a stunning new voice in European fiction.

Tom's heavily pregnant girlfriend Karin is rushed to hospital with severe flu. While the doctors are able to save the baby, they are helpless in the face of what transpires to be acute Leukemia, and in a moment as fleeting as it is cruel Tom gains a daughter but loses his soul-mate. In Every Moment is the story of a year that changes everything, as Tom must reconcile the fury of bereavement with the overwhelming responsibility of raising his daughter, Livia, alone.

By turns tragic and redemptive, meditative and breathless, achingly poignant and darkly funny, this heavily autobiographical novel has been described in its native Sweden as 'hypnotic', 'impossible to resist' and 'one of the most powerful books about grief ever written'.

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Praise for In Every Moment We Are Still Alive

  • [A] searing autobiographical novel depict[ing] a father struggling to cope with the tragic loss of his partner just as their daughter is born. - New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2018

  • Beautiful . . . as more books are published and more stories get told, we increasingly seek out those writers who promise to give us something more than mere fiction. We want books made out of lives . . . The value of Malmquist's book is precisely that it retains a trace of true human presence - carefully preserved by the author, but not his own. - Guardian

  • It is bound to invite comparison to Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, the autofiction sensation that has swept Norway and beyond. Both authors explore balancing fatherhood with a writing life. Both are concerned, to varying degrees, with an intentionally cultivated sense of artlessness. The prosaic stuff of life, such as family conversations, trifling arguments and ingredients for festive meals, is presented in a seemingly unfiltered manner. Perhaps more so than Knausgaard, Malmquist demonstrates over lengthy passages that he can relay life in an intense, heightened state. The result is exhilarating - Financial Times

  • There's a poet's eye for small details . . . The present-day is intercut with the past, and this works well: it is arresting to have Karin alive then gone in everyday moments . . . a fine first novel. - Scotsman

  • Urgent, heart-breaking and life-affirming, this autobiographical novel about grief and parenting probes the boundaries between life and writing. - Books of the Year, Financial Times

  • People around me who lifted this book up have not been able to put it down. Nor will you be able to. Tom Malmquist has written one of the most hypnotically terrifying love books I have read. Heartbreakingly relentless. ... This is a book written, not only in strong emotion, but also with a brutal skill. The first hundred pages of hospital inferno are like a single breath. There is no then, no later, just now. - HELSINGBORGS DAGBLAD

  • Impossible to resist ... There is so much humanity in this book. Equally hilarious and unremarkable as rich in purpose. Just as dirty as beautiful. - EXPRESSEN

  • It is not only admiration, but also wonder, I feel about Malmquist's way to face the grief with linguistic energy, to never lapsing into an already frayed image of death, love and longing - instead writing through, both death and love - but in its own way. The process of writing is a deeply personal struggle, a life struggle. - KULTURNYTT

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Tom Malmquist

Tom Malmquist (b. 1978) is a poet. He has written two highly acclaimed poetry collections. Every Moment We Are Still Alive is his first work of prose.

"Writing for me is to be five years old and to doze off to the rattle of my dad's journalist fingers running across his IBM Selectric Typewriter. It is also to fantasize about how Ryszard Kapuscinski sat down to write the introduction to Imperium, or how W. G. Sebald finished Austerlitz, or Marguerite Duras The Lover, Goethe, Shakespeare, Elfriede Jelinek, or Calvino, Camus, Sigmund Freud, T S Eliot or Sandra who sent me a love letter over thirty years ago. It is also tangible: I write when my daughter is in kindergarten, I write for her to fall asleep and I write when she wakes up."

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